Thursday, April 07, 2011


14601 SE Division
Happy Hour: 4 - 7 PM, daily

Sure, it's a country western bar. And yes, it's practically in Gresham. But they have two dollar well drinks during happy hour AND a mechanical bull. Okay, so the bull isn't available during happy hour...but it's still worth mentioning.

We stopped at Duke's after school to "scope out the place" for a group event to take place later this school year. And if we can convince them to mix up the music a bit (it's straight country, people) I think this place might actually do. They have two dollar well drinks (did I already mention that?), a pretty decent selection of food items (ranging in price from $1.95 to $4.95), and friendly bartenders. Plus, it's super quiet in the early afternoon and would be perfect for the event that still needs planning.

Duke's is related to a lot of other well-known establishments in downtown Portland. It's related to Gypsy, the Lotus, the Thirsty Lion and more. I've been to quite a few of these happy hours and they all seem to go about it the same way. The food menu has tiered pricing, the well drinks are super cheap, and the service is guaranteed to be of quality (maybe not remarkable, but efficient every time). It's nice knowing that little has been overlooked...but at the same time, it makes it seem more like a chain than anything else. Oh well. At least the well drinks are cheap, right. And I can handle country music, in small doses.

I ordered the black bean quesadilla and a basket of corn muffins. The muffins were only a buck ninety-five, so I wasn't expecting to get much more than a couple of bites. Instead, four giant-sized muffins appeared before my eyes. They looked good. But they didn't look good for me. The server claimed that they weren't deep fried...but the amount of butter used in the recipe could have been enough to make it seem as though they were. They were good, but I couldn't eat more than one.

The black bean quesadilla was a lot better than I expected. I appreciate the fact that there was a black bean quesadilla available. So often I have to order the chicken quesadilla minus the chicken.

To wash it all down, I had a gin and tonic. (Did I mention that the well drinks are cheap?) I only needed one as the bartender poured the first one a bit on the heavy side. I wonder if that's how it always is.

I can't say for sure if I'll be back to Duke's in the near future (the event location is a group decision and I can only make suggestions) but I know I'll be back.

Food: Meets
Drinks: Meets
Service: Exceeds
Ambiance: Meets
Value: Meets